18 demolished Vancouver buildings brought back to life by illustrator


Canadian illustrator Raymond Biesinger just released a print that is sure to please architecture, history and general buffs of Vancouver and its awesomeness.

18 Lost Buildings of Vancouver revisits 18 buildings that are no longer a part of Vancouver, at least physically.

Biesinger has been working on graphically documenting the history of Canada’s cities since 2012, when he was depicting snapshots of points in time (HERE is his look at Vancouver on September 3, 1962). During that work he noticed a lot of “lost” buildings, and this latest print he’s released is part of a series showcasing buildings that are missed across the country.

He tells us he’s “delighted to give them attention in their own series of prints”, and the research for this particular one involved “many, many, people who’ve poured a lot of time into documenting Vancouver’s architectural history, whether it’s their job or their hobby.”

He notes John Mackie’s Vancouver’s Lost Landmarks 2011 article from the Sun as a starting point, and he spent hours cruising the Changing Vancouver website doing research. He also credits Eve Lazarus’ blog, the Vancouver city archives online, Wikipedia, Flickr, Pinterest, the Vancouver Vanishes Facebook group, local papers like the Straight or The Tyee, the National Trust’s Worst Losses List and more.

The result is a stunning 17″ x 22″ print containing some of the most notable Vancouver buildings that are no more.

He was kind enough to share all 18 of the illustrations with us, on display below.

If you’re interested in buying a print (as shown above) they’re $40 and are available directly off of his Etsy store HERE. Also check out his other work at fifteen.ca.

1. the Georgia Medical-Dental Building (1928-1989, a 17-storey art deco tower directly across from the second Hotel Vancouver, designed by the same architects as the Marine Building)
2. Electric House (1922-2017, a Tudor-style home built to showcase the domestic use of electricity, attracted 22000 visitors the year it opened)
3. the Old Courthouse (1888-1912, occupied Victoria Square for a brief 24 years)
4.Little Mountain (1954-2009, was described as “British Columbia’s first and most successful social housing project”)
5. the Birks Building (1913-1974, an eleven-storey Edwardian structure on the corner of Georgia and Granville)
6. Mandarin Garden (1918-1952, levelled to make way for Columbia Street where it crosses East Pender)
7. the Stuart Building (1909-1982, a beloved former gateway to Stanley Park)
8. Vancouver Athletic Club (1906-1946, gymnasium, indoor sports hall, currently the site of the Amec building)
9. Pantages Theatre (1907-2011, formerly of the Downtown Eastside, was considered the oldest remaining vaudeville theatre in Canada before being turned into a vacant lot)
10. Union Station (1916-1965, currently a parking lot near the east end of False Creek)
11. the Orillia (1903-1985, a mixed use structure on Robson and Seymour, eventually replaced by the Vancouver Tower)
12. Market Hall (1890-1958, housed city council from 1898 until the later 1920s)
13. Vancouver Opera House (1891-1961, a 1200-seat theatre built by CPR to accompany their Hotel Vancouver, actually didn’t host much opera)
14. the Second Hotel Vancouver (1916-1949, a mountainous hotel worth exploring further, with 15 storeys and a few six-foot tall carved bison and moose heads near its crest)
15. Ridge Theatre (1950-2013, “the city’s most storied cinema” according to the Georgia Straight, replaced by condos)
16. the Vancouver Art Gallery (1931-1985, absolutely gorgeous, an art deco beauty designed by local architects Sharp and Thompson)
17. Majestic Theatre (1918-1967, hosted Charlie Chaplin, Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth, levelled for a parking lot)
18. David Graham House (1963-2007, an internationally known and impressively-stepped west coast modern house by Arthur Erickson)
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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship, hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show and co-hosts our weekly podcast. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com